What is Selenium?
Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential for human health. It is a vital nutrient that is required in small amounts to support various functions in the body. Selenium is found in the soil, water, and some foods. It is also added to some dietary supplements.
Why is Selenium Important?
Selenium is an antioxidant that helps to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. It is also essential for the proper functioning of the immune system and the thyroid gland. Selenium also plays a role in the production of DNA and in the repair of damaged cells.
The Role of Selenium in the Body
Selenium is required for the proper functioning of several enzymes in the body. These enzymes are involved in various processes such as the metabolism of thyroid hormones and the production of DNA. Selenium is also involved in the production of glutathione peroxidase, an antioxidant enzyme that protects the body from damage caused by free radicals.
What is a Selenium Blood Test?
A selenium blood test is a test that measures the amount of selenium in the blood. The test is used to determine if a person has a deficiency or excess of selenium in their body. The test is usually ordered by a doctor if a person is suspected of having a deficiency or excess of selenium.
How is the Test Performed?
The test is performed by taking a blood sample from the person. The blood sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results of the test are usually available within a few days.
What are the Normal Levels of Selenium in the Blood?
The normal range for selenium in the blood is between 70 and 150 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL). However, the normal range may vary depending on the laboratory that performs the test. It is important to speak with a doctor about the results of the test.
What are the Symptoms of Selenium Deficiency?
Selenium deficiency can cause a range of symptoms. These may include fatigue, weakness, muscle pain, joint pain, hair loss, and an increased risk of infections. Severe selenium deficiency can lead to a condition known as Keshan disease, which affects the heart and can be life-threatening.
What are the Symptoms of Selenium Excess?
Selenium excess can also cause a range of symptoms. These may include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, nail brittleness, and a metallic taste in the mouth. Severe selenium excess can lead to a condition known as selenosis, which can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and nervous system.
Selenium is an essential nutrient that is required for the proper functioning of the body. A selenium blood test can help to determine if a person has a deficiency or excess of selenium in their body. It is important to speak with a doctor about the results of the test and to follow their recommendations for treatment if necessary.